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Fat cat vs. Skinny cat feeding issue

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone. It's been awhile since I posted.

Anyway, in short, I have 2 male cats that we adopted from a shelter a year ago, both are approx 7 years old. Our problem is one cat is now slightly overweight while the other is underweight . Neither cat starts eating when we first put their food out but through the course of the day, the skinny cat(who actually eats first as he is evidently the established "alpha cat") will eat but the fat cat eats far more. Last summer, the skinny cat went away with my husband for two months during which time the fat cat substantially reduced his eating, however, once skinny cat returned, fat cat resumed his over eating. Eventhough they both have their own bowls(as well as litter boxes), they both use all of them interchangeably, no territorial issues at all in this department.

Last month, we mentioned it to the vet who was no help at all, in fact, he said he had the similar fat cat/skinny cat issue at his home. He suggested we switch top a lower calorie food for both cats. Well, a month later, fat cat hasn't lost any weight(in fact, he looks fatter) while skinny cat has lost weight so we've switched back to the regular food.

Ideally, we would like for skinny cat to eat the regular food and fat cat to eat the diet food but how can we keep them from eating each other's food and fat cat from eating most of both? I know it's not healthy for cats to be overweight.
post #2 of 5
Feed them in separate rooms. My two cats competed for food when they ate together. Vacuumed it up to keep the other one from getting some. They learned to go to their separate places in 2 days.
post #3 of 5
I have 4 cats, 3 are normal weight and are free feeders, the other cat is overweight. I built a feeding station that only the three normal weight cats could squeeze into to eat the food I leave out. The over weight cat is fed under a portion control plan I stick to. So far the overweight cat has lost 4lbs. He gets fed wet food in the morning and then very small portions of dry 2 additional times during the day. No snacks either.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Javern - I like your idea about building a feeding station for the smaller cat but how do you keep the smaller cat from eating the bigger cat's food?

nil - We already feed them in separate rooms but they still eat from each other's bowl.

Another thing. I always felt from day one that the food should be put down for a certain amount of time then taken away, if they don't eat at that time then they have to way till the next feeding time. However, my husband feels that just putting the food down and allowing them to "graze" all day is the bteer way. What do you think?
post #5 of 5
I'm sorry, I missed the fact that you leave out food. I would pick two feeding times per day (or more if you want). Put out specific portions for each cat. Put the thinner cat in the room where you can watch him the easiest. When thin cat is finished, open the door. If they're used to free feeding it may take them a couple of days to get used to the routine, but cats are pretty smart about things like that.

I think your idea is much better. I suppose it's possible that my cats would settle down eventually with free feeding, and not overeat, but I'm afraid to try. They just seem to be in competition with each other to eat the most.
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